Another year has ended and a new one is in full swing. As is always the case, this period of transition prompts me to both ponder all that has transpired during the prior twelve months’ and anticipate what the New Year will bring. It is the perfect opportunity to recall accomplishments and have another look at efforts not quite fulfilled. Doing so makes me evermore mindful of the blessings I have enjoyed, the things that have challenged and strengthened me, and the ways in which they all can work together to help me going forward.
My 2013 Year in Review has me reflecting on several exciting ventures, which have raised the bar on my expectations for 2014. One such happy endeavor, in 2013, was my joining the WDW Radio blog as a regular post contributor. Several months have passed since my very first More to the World post in what is an ongoing series that exists to offer readers suggestions on how to convince a Walt Disney World (WDW) skeptic that there is, indeed, more to the “World” for them than what they think. In my personal experience with such individuals, their skepticism with regards to WDW is merely the result of being unaware of all the possibilities that await them there. My challenge is to help others persuade the skeptics in their life to take a first trip or make a return one to WDW. My initial effort was focused very simply on proving that there is more to the World than crowds, kiddie rides and hot dogs. Since then, I have poured my powers of persuasion into topics like the great outdoors, the finest things life has to offer, and several other whys and wherefores that skeptics express when explaining why they do not want to visit WDW. Through 2013, I covered 12 specific skeptic rationales. No question, there are many others yet to be addressed. Therefore, I am asking you, WDW Radio readers, to let me know (in the comments section that follows this post) what reasons, justifications, or excuses skeptics have expressed to you for why they prefer not to take a vacation to the happiest place on earth. During 2014, I will endeavor to address as many of your responses as possible. I look forward to reading your feedback.
In this, the first More to the World post of the New Year; I offer the following tips for persuading your WDW skeptic to join you in planning a 2014 trip to the wonderful world of Disney.
To begin with, it is very important that you do a little subtle investigation by casually inquiring about exactly what your skeptic is looking for in an ideal getaway/vacation. Once you know what they most desire, I suggest you make a review of prior More to the World posts. It is possible the persuasive facts, figures, data and/or evidence you require may already have been provided. If it does not meet your needs, perhaps the following information and suggestions will help in your efforts.
Included with Admission
- Explore. In many cases, skeptics view WDW as the perfect case of the old adage “hurry up and wait”. Often times, this is true of many park-goers who “dash to Splash” and “race to Space“, but this is not a rule and requirement. So, discuss the Fastpass+ system with your skeptic. Be sure to explain exactly how it will minimize wait-times, and virtually eliminate time spent rushing from attraction to attraction. Elaborate upon how the utilization of the system will enable them to leisurely take in what the surroundings have to offer such as water features, hidden details, nooks and crannies, and quiet pathways leading to places like Cinderella’s Wishing Well, a beautiful Canadian waterfall, or the tank from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
- Check the Walt Disney World website for dates of special events such as the Epcot® International Food and Wine Festival Presented by Chase®, Night of Joy, Epcot® Flower & Garden Festival Presented by HGTV, the Festival of the Masters Presented by Michaels®, Car Masters Weekend and many others. If your skeptic(s) have an appreciation for such things, show him/her/them when these opportunities occur and plan the trip accordingly.
- If your skeptic enjoys taking in performances of talented vocalists and musicians, such presentations occur daily throughout the parks year-round. Let them know that show times during their stay will be noted in the Times Guide, which is information that will enable them to experience such happenings in a variety of ways during their trip.
- Perhaps your Disney doubter likes to observe artisans performing their craft. If so, let them know that there are numerous opportunities to do so throughout the parks. You may want to specifically mention the following: Giorgio Iurcotta, the Italian mask painter; the pastry chefs of the Main Street Bakery; the Arribas Bros. glass blowers; sketch artists; and many more.
- If your skeptic likes to travel to beautiful locales, they need look no further than the exquisite resorts of WDW. Note: There is no charge for visiting the grounds, merchandise locations and/or the central buildings of the resorts on property. Atmospheres and experiences are wide ranging from resort to resort. If applicable, you may want to specifically mention the following: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge offers visitors the opportunity to watch as giraffes, gazelles, zebras and other wildlife traverse the grounds; Disney’s Polynesian Resort invites patrons to participate in a traditional island Torch Lighting Ceremony; and Disney’s Wilderness Lodge beckons guests to its 82 foot fireplace, bubbling hot spring, and shooting Fire Rock Geyser for examples.
Where to Stay
- Allow your skeptic to choose a resort that is themed to an environment they will enjoy. Whether their interests lie in the mountains, the islands, modern-city life, the pampering of home, the sports arena or several other locales, there is a resort your doubter will love.
- Let your skeptic know that they can visit the concierge desk to obtain information on the additional activities available at their resort. Each resort offers daily activities for children and adults. Whether it is pool games, crafts, campfires, or movies under the stars, there is sure to be something your skeptic will enjoy.
Where to Eat
- If your Disney cynic is a food lover, let them know that a perfect meal and dining experience awaits them on property. Such dining opportunities are very popular; so, if they want to enjoy dining with an Imagineer, dancing with a Bavarian polka band, sitting around the 18-foot open fire pit grill, or one of many other one-of-a-kind meals, make sure to book reservation(s) well in advance via disneyworld.com or 1-407-WDW-DINE.
- One of the best ways to experience new and exciting food is at the quick-service locations at the various resorts. If your skeptic enjoys partaking of new and exciting food opportunities but is also budget conscious, there are several unique menu items under $15 at resort locations such as The Mara at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge serving African Stew and Falafel Pita; the Sassagoula Floatworks & Food Factory at Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter serving Mufaletta, Jambalaya, and Beniets; or Captain Cook’s at Disney’s Polynesian Resort serving Grown-up Grilled Cheese with Asian Slaw, Tonga Toast, and Pineapple Dole Whip. These are only a few of the items available at 30+ quick-service dining locations in the WDW resorts.
- If your skeptic is looking for options outside of a theme park environment, let them know that they can explore the rest of the World. There are many experiences throughout the resort for the entire family. If they enjoy boating, surfing, golfing, having a spa day, seeing a stage show, dancing at a nightclub, or taking a spin in an exotic sports car, they can do all of this, and more, while remaining on the WDW property. Check out other More to the World posts or visit disneyworld.com for more information on these and other experiences. Note: Be sure to point out to your skeptic that once they arrive on property, they can visit their resort concierge desk for additional, more detailed information on all the extras available on property.
- While extra activities at WDW may seem expensive, if you and your skeptic plan ahead, most can be paid for by saving just a couple extra dollars each week heading up to the trip. Add on experiences range in price from $10 to upwards of $500. Review the options and see what your budget can handle. For example, if your skeptic enjoys boating, a $500 per hour voyage on the Grand-1 may be out of the question, but you may be able to swing a $300 fireworks cruise for up to eight guests, a $22 per hour sailboat excursion, or $12 per hour canoe trek. So, do some activity investigating, and plan not to miss out on some great extras.
- One of the best “extra pay” activities at WDW is shopping—especially choosing the perfect souvenir. Whether your skeptic is budget conscious or extravagant, there are seemingly endless opportunities to shop throughout the parks and resorts. A great way to convince him or her that WDW is the shopping destination of their dreams is to show them the lengthy list of shopping opportunities detailed on disneyworld.com. A review of the information there may be all it takes to convince them to start packing. Be sure to point out that WDW is home to shops carrying top of the line brands such as Dooney & Bourke, Basin, Burberry, Ralph Lauren®, Christine Alexander, Tommy Bahama®, Harveys, and several others. Do not forget to highlight the fact that there are authentic international products available for purchase at Epcot® such as authentic German steins, hand-painted Italian Carnivale masks, authentic Japanese puzzle boxes, perfumes from French perfumery Guerlain, Inc., personal family name histories and crests, and much, much more.
(Photo copyright Disney)
Hopefully, one or more of these tips will help you persuade your Disney skeptic to join you in planning a 2014 Walt Disney World vacation. If you have questions regarding any of the activities or opportunities listed above, please leave them in the comments section. Oh, and don’t forget, I’m looking for what reasons, justifications, or excuses skeptics have expressed to you for why they prefer not to take a vacation at the happiest place on earth. Your response may be the focus of a future “More to the World” post.
Kendall began visiting Walt Disney World in 1991 with her family and has continued to visit the resort with her husband. As a child, she and her family filled vacations with challenges such as “How many times can we ride Splash Mountain during SpectroMagic and the fireworks?” (Answer: 7) Now, after marrying a converted Disney skeptic, she and her husband enjoy challenges such as “How many hours can we eat nonstop at the Food & Wine Festival?” (Answer: 4)